Sunday, January 18, 2009: 9:45 AM
Balcony I (New Orleans Marriott)
* noted as presenting author
PURPOSE: The majority of research studies with perpetrators of male-to-female intimate partner violence (IPV) use samples of men from batterers intervention programs, many of whom are mandated to attend such programs. This leaves a gap in the empirical knowledge base regarding perpetrators of IPV who are not attending batterers intervention programs, including the extent to which they engage with the various formal service systems as well as what may shape their help-seeking behavior. Building upon research demonstrating a strong link between drug abuse and perpetration of IPV, this study utilized a sample of men in methadone treatment who reported perpetrating IPV against their female partners. This study aims to examine the extent to which such men are engaged with various formal service systems as well as whether adherence to traditional male ideologies—thought to drive perpetration of male-to-female IPV—affects help-seeking behavior. METHODS: Randomly selected men attending methadone maintenance treatment programs (MMTPs) in New York City who participated in and completed a longitudinal panel study and reported perpetrating IPV against a female partner were re-interviewed to gather additional data regarding their service use. In addition to sociodemographics (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, treatment duration), self-reported data were collected on illicit drug use, perpetration of IPV (Revised Conflict Tactics Scales), service needs (Brief Symptom Inventory, Stressful Life Events Scale), adherence to traditional male ideologies (Male Traditional Ideology Scale), and supplemental—i.e., non-methadone—service utilization (Treatment Services Review). Using Generalized Linear Modeling (GLM), traditional male ideology scores were used to predict subsequent service utilization measured at follow-up, controlling for sociodemographics and other covariates. RESULTS: Among the sample of 126 men, the mean age of participants was 47.3 years (SD=8.1), with 46% identifying as Latino and 38% as Black/African American. A large majority (88%) of participants reported use of supplemental services, with the most frequent type of service being medical (66% of the sample), followed by other (i.e., non-methadone) drug treatment services (52%), employment/vocational (26%), psychological (21%), family (14%), and legal (9%) services. Endorsement of traditional male ideologies was significantly associated with perpetration of IPV (r=.213, p=.02). After controlling for sociodemographics and levels of service need, endorsement of traditional male ideologies was negatively associated with supplemental service use (b=-.17, p=.05). When types of services were separated, analyses indicate a significant association between endorsement of traditional male ideology with utilization of additional drug treatment (b=-.24, p=.01), legal (b=.70, p=.02), family (b=-.46, p=.01), and psychological (b=-.34, p<.01) services. CONCLUSIONS: Men on methadone who perpetrate IPV do engage with a variety of service systems beyond methadone treatment. However, men who possess more traditional masculine ideologies, which was found to be associated with higher levels of IPV, may generally be less likely to seek and receive supplemental services. Altogether, these findings suggest targeted assessment and engagement strategies may be required to involve a greater number of drug-involved men who perpetrate IPV with a wider spectrum of health and social services.